Mets message to Ohtani: `Please don't break anything else, Shohei'

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani at bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets had a message for Shohei Othani when the Los Angeles Angels two-way star walked to the plate in the first inning Sunday:

“PLEASE DON'T BREAK ANYTHING ELSE, SHOHEI” read an all-capital letters plea next to his photo on the giant 17,400-square-foot center-field videoboard.

Ohtani's foul ball in the first inning Saturday night damaged a video panel in right field as a crowd of 35,890 gasped.

Ohtani, playing his first series since the Angels said he tore a ligament in his right elbow while pitching on Wednesday, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in Los Angeles’ 3-2 loss Sunday. He was 3 for 9 with three runs, two steals and an RBI as the Angels took two of three from the Mets.

He had one hard-hit ball Sunday, a lineout to left in the first inning.

Ohtani leads the major leagues with 44 homers and a .666 slugging percentage. He’s also first in the American League with a .409 on-base percentage and ranks among the top five in batting average and RBIs.

“Kept Ohtani from hurting us,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s quite a feat.”